In vitro fertilization may increase prevalence of erectile, male sexual dysfunction
The prevalence of erectile dysfunction is significantly higher among men participating in in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to conceive compared to couples who conceived spontaneously, reveals a recent study. Such occurrence leads to a very high rate of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor use.
This prospective case-control study was carried out at a tertiary medical centre to examine the effect of IVF on sexual function in men, particularly for erectile dysfunction. Participants included men of infertile couples that required IVF to conceive (study group) and of couples who conceived naturally (control group).
The authors assessed the effects of IVF on sexual and erectile function based on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15) and the Self-Esteem and Relationship (SEAR) questionnaires. They followed participants for up to 1 year postpartum.
Mean IIEF-15 scores were significantly lower in the IVF group (n=356) than the control group (n=378): prior to pregnancy (31.7±4.5 vs 64.4±7.2; p<0.0001), at mid-pregnancy (37.3±5.1 vs 66.4±5.5; p<0.0001), and up to 1 year postpartum (42.3±4.9 vs 68.6±4.3; p<0.0001).
Mean SEAR scores were also significantly lower in the IVF vs control group at these three respective time points (29.9±6.3 vs 66.5±8.3; 34.1±5.8 vs 66.9±7.2; and 40.9±6.7 vs 67.3±5.6; p<0.0001).
Likewise, the median monthly sexual intercourse rate was lower among couples in the IVF group relative to those in the control group at the three time points, whereas the use of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor and psychologist/sexologist care were higher.